Best Tow Vehicles for Travel Trailers 2022
Are you an avid adventurer or a lover of the outdoors? If you are, you're probably in the market for a travel trailer and the best tow vehicle to do the job of hauling all your stuff.
As camping and RVing continue to grow in popularity, auto manufacturers are continuously looking for new ways to not only make towing an easier experience but a more enjoyable and comfortable one.
So, if you're looking for a new travel trailer, camper, or RV tow vehicle, read on to learn about the best ones for doing the job, as well as the variables you need to consider before purchasing.
How To Know Which Tow Vehicle Is For You
With so many choices available in tow vehicles, it can be a toss-up for which one works best for you. After all, you need to consider the brand, towing capacity, and your budget; and it's important that you review them all carefully before making a purchase.
You should also consider what type of vehicle best suits your lifestyle. Someone who avidly travels with a trailer may require a different type of vehicle than someone who only travels occasionally.
By understanding each variable, you'll maximize your investment and ensure that it provides you with an easy and pleasant towing experience down the road, both literally and figuratively.
Capabilities to Consider When Selecting the Best Tow Vehicle
Before you get to purchasing, there are some things you should consider when it comes to selecting a tow vehicle. Mainly the towing capacity, payload rating, and tongue weight.
Towing capacity is the most weight a vehicle can tow legally and safely. Knowing a vehicle's maximum towing capacity is essential in ensuring a safe drive.
Any vehicle that is capable of towing a travel trailer will have a maximum towing capacity. This is to ensure you're not towing too much. Overloading a vehicle can cause your trailer to sway and make steering and braking difficult.
While towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight you can tow safely, payload capacity is the maximum about of weight you can carry safely. For example, in an SUV, this includes all the weight in the trunk and cabin, and in a truck, it includes all the weight in the truck bed and cabin.
As a driver, you're part of the payload, not just the cargo you pack into your car. That's why it's important to consider how much weight (cargo and people) you'll be carrying inside a vehicle while towing your travel trailer.
Tongue weight is the downward force that the tongue of the trailer (the front part that hooks to the bumper) applies to the hitch of the tow vehicle.
Your tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% of the total weight of your loaded trailer. So if you're towing a 2,000 lbs trailer that has 2,000 lbs of cargo (equalling 4,000lbs), your tongue weight should be between 400-600 lbs.
13 Best Vehicles for Towing Travel Trailers
If you're considering getting a travel trailer, you're probably wondering which tow vehicles are best for towing one. We've done the work to bring you the answer!
Here is a list of our top suggestions for vehicles that do excellent towing jobs, including SUVs and pickup trucks for travel trailer and RV towing.
1. Ford F-450 Chassis Cab
Towing capacity: 27,500 lbs (when properly equipped)
Payload rating: 7,850 lbs
Price range: $43,700 to $94,500
A powerful engine, heavy-duty 10-speed automatic transmission, and available driver-assist technologies make the F-450 Chassis Cab a smart and capable choice for a tow vehicle. When properly equipped, the Ford F-450 can pull a conventional camping-style fifth-wheel trailer. It's a strong, reliable truck that can go the distance!
2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Towing capacity: 9,100 lbs to 13,300 lbs (when properly equipped)
Payload rating: 2,285 lbs
Price range: upwards of $34,600
With a whopping 13,300 maximum tow rating, the enhanced 2022 Chevrolet Silverado is an excellent choice. This heavy-duty pickup offers world-class performance and durability while featuring enhanced technology and an elevated exterior design. If you have an RV that lies within the Chevrolet Silverado's towing range, you should definitely consider this vehicle!
3. Ford Expedition
Towing capacity: up to 9,300 lbs (with the Heavy Duty Towing Package)
Payload rating: 1,700 lbs
Price range: upwards of $51,000
A heavy-duty SUV, the Ford Expedition is a top choice among travelers. This powerful SUV can seat up to eight passengers, tow a heavy travel trailer, and carry some major payload. It's a great tow vehicle that blends capacity with luxury and comfort.
4. BMW X7
Towing capacity: 7,500 lbs
Payload rating: 1,190 lbs
Price range: upwards of $74,900
If you're looking to tow in the lap of luxury, the BMW X7 (ALPINA XB7) is the way to go. Towing a travel trailer with this vehicle is made easy with its reinforced 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission, adaptive cruise control, and air suspension system.
5. Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Pickup
Towing capacity: up to 37,090 lbs (when properly equipped)
Payload rating: 6,570 lbs
Price range: $45,000 to $77,000
If you're looking for maximum pulling power with fifth-wheel trailers, look no further than the Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Pickup. This pickup truck boasts hi-tech cabin features, including a digital rearview mirror that features an LCD monitor and "Tow Mode" so you can view behind your trailer as you cruise along the road.
6. Ford F-150
Towing capacity: up to 14,000 lbs
Payload rating: 3,325 lbs
Price range: upwards of $31,500
When it comes to premium towing capacities, the Ford F-150 puts many major truck manufacturers to shame. Its available smart trailer tow connector alerts you on the tow activity screen if your trailer needs attention. It also has available dynamic hitch assist and enhanced vehicle control that responds to driver input in real-time while towing.
To maximize this car's towing capabilities, consider the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine.
7. Mercedes-Benz GLE 350
Towing capacity: 7,700 lbs
Payload rating: 1,650 lbs
Price range: upwards of $55,000
The Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 is a popular pick in the mid-size luxury SUV department. The car provides drivers with superior performance, high-tech amenities, and strong towing specs. Like the BMW X7, it's a great towing vehicle alternative to a truck.
8. Ford Explorer
Towing capacity: 5,600 lbs (when properly equipped)
Payload rating: 1,560 lbs
Price range: upwards of $35,500
A medium-duty SUV, the Ford Explorer is the perfect vehicle for everyday driving or weekend travel. It's a 3-row, seven-seater that comes equipped with all modern conveniences and an improved powertrain. Its 5,600 lbs towing capacity is efficient enough to tow RVs, travel trailers, and boats.
9. Toyota Highlander
Towing capacity: up to 5,000 lbs (when properly equipped)
Payload rating: 1,600 lbs
Price range: upwards of $35,500
The Toyota Highlander is a mid-size, light-duty SUV that offers 3 rows of seating and 84 cubic feet of cargo space. The standard 3.5L V6 engine has a maximum tow rating of 5,000 lbs with the optional tow package installed. It has an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive with dynamic torque control.
10. Land Rover Discovery
Towing capacity: 8,200 lbs
Payload rating: 1,750 lbs
Price range: upwards of $55,000
The Land Rover Discovery is a lounge-worthy SUV with 3 rows of seating, room for up to 7 people, and 74.3 cubic feet of cargo space. When properly equipped, it makes for one of the best SUVs for towing, with a towing capacity of 8,200 lbs.
Moreover, it has Advanced Tow Assist, which controls the direction of both the towing vehicle and trailer as you reverse, as well as Hill Descent Control to monitor braking power while driving down steep hills.
11. Toyota Tundra
Towing capacity: up to 12,000 lbs
Payload rating: 1,940 lbs
Price range: upwards of $35,950
The completely redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra is more modern, efficient, and powerful - with Toyota upping the towing capacity to a whopping 12,000 lbs. This full-size pickup truck can tow with ease with an available auto-leveling air suspension and turbocharged engine. It offers tremendous value with the premium tow package.
12. Nissan Armada
Towing capacity: 8,500 lbs
Payload rating: 1,650 lbs
Price range: upwards of $49,900
The Nissan Armada is a full-size, capable SUV designed to handle a wide variety of payloads with advanced towing technologies and a rough body-on-frame construction. Features such as the Intelligent Around View Monitor, Available Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, and third-row seating make for a vehicle with strong towing and hauling prowess.
13. Chevrolet Suburban
Towing capacity: 8,300 lbs
Payload rating: 1,982 lbs - 1,997 lbs (depending on trim level)
Price range: upwards of $54,700
The Chevrolet Suburban is an impressive vehicle complete with a high towing capacity, as well as the choice between 2WD or AWD and 3 engine options. It seats up to 9 and has impressive features such as lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.
All things considered, we don't always just buy a car for its towing capabilities. We also want something that fits our day-to-day lifestyle while still offering utility and capability at an affordable price.
Picking the right towing vehicle can make your travel experience much more comfortable and enjoyable. And these cars are sure to give you just that. Not only are they great at towing a travel trailer, but they can also tackle almost anything else you throw at them.
So, if you end up purchasing one of these vehicles, know that the next time you hit the road, you'll feel confident towing your travel trailer.
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